Dr. Gemma Stirba is a highly-certified and widely-recognized practicing optometrist who’s been caring for patients in the Danielson area since 2009. Born in the Philippines, she migrated to the United States at the age of 14, where she resided in Oakland, California.
In 1999, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Neuroscience at the University of California, Riverside. During her time at UC Riverside, she worked as a laboratory assistant in a neuroscience research lab learning neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, and excitotoxicity.
Dr. Stirba then went on to earn her degree as a Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry in 2005. After her first year in optometry school, she received the prestigious National Eye Institute Research Fellowship award and participated in a summer research training program at the University of California, Berkeley. She also published papers in the Contact Lens and Anterior Eye journal and Optometry and Vision Science journal. Her clinical experience has taken her all over the United States, including externships at Palo Alto VA Hospital in California; Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago, Illinois; Mid Florida Eye Center in Mt. Dora, Florida; and Newington VA Hospital in Connecticut.
After joining Killingly Eye Care in November 2009 as a part-time associate, Dr. Stirba became a full-time associate in January of 2011, eventually becoming a partner in July 2013.
An avid learner with a desire to constantly improve in her practice, Dr. Stirba actively participates in a variety of state and national groups and attends conferences annually to keep up with the ever-evolving practices in optometry. In 2012, she was elected as the “Young Optometrist of the Year” by the Connecticut Association of Optometrists and has served as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors since 2013. She also remains a member in good standing with the American Optometric Association, Contact Lens and Cornea Section of AOA. She is also a member of the Clinical Skills Examination committee for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) and served as an Examiner from April 2009 to April 2011.
In addition to educating her patients on the importance of good eye care, Dr. Stirba also enjoys learning and growing with her patients. Her commitment to personal growth and the well-being of others drives her to continually evolve. She strives to bring positivity to every encounter and is affectionately known as the “energetic caring doc” by her patients.
Beyond medicine, Dr. Stirba enjoys participating in local outreach programs and is deeply dedicated to her church community. As a soprano in the choir and an organizer of church activities, her faith reflects her strong sense of devotion and commitment to making a long-lasting and positive impact on everyone around her.